New Orleans' rebirth draws closer to completion

When the Superdome reopened in September 2006 with cries from U2 and Green Day that “the Saints are coming!,” it appeared that New Orleans had made its first tangible progress on the long road to recovering from a hurricane that struck the area 12 months earlier.

Now, more than four years after Katrina nearly destroyed the city, New Orleans is back.

Thanks to the Saints.

Indeed, somewhat lost in that thrilling NFC title game for the ages is the reality that the long-suffering Saints are finally getting a shot at an NFL title, 42 years after joining the NFL. 

Coincidentally, it was in New Orleans that the Steelers shed 42 seasons of frustration some 35 years ago by beating, yes, the Vikings in Super Bowl IX.

This is for everybody in this city,” coach Sean Payton said after the 31-28 overtime classic.  “This stadium used to have holes
in it and used to be wet.  It’s not wet anymore.  This is for the city of
New Orleans.”

And everybody is rejoicing.  “I’m a grown man and I’m crying,” 48-year-old Richard Reeves of Slidell told the Associated Press.

“The New Orleans Saints have done more for race relations in this city than anything,” said Bob
Hinyub of Gretna, per the AP.  “Everybody
here is black and gold.  Nobody is black and white.”

“This is indescribable,” Linda Ruiz, 53, told the AP.  “It’s like a
dream.  It’s really like a dream. All I can say is God answers prayers.”

“I know it’s a football team, but it means so much,” Richard Brown, 66, told the AP.  “Way past a diversion.  It’s real.  The people feel it.”

And they’ll be feeling it for the next two weeks and beyond, regardless of the outcome to Super Bowl XLIV.

And if this team can do what the Steelers did in early 1975, we could be witnessing the dawn of a new dynasty in New Orleans.

Either way, and regardless of whether the Saints win four Super Bowls in six years or resort to their long-suffering ways of the past, the bond between the team and the city is now permanent, and unbreakable.

44 responses to “New Orleans' rebirth draws closer to completion

  1. And the best part? There were NO rapes reported in the Superdome men’s rooms during the game. NONE.

  2. Dirty play and help from the officials against a team that tried all game to beat themselves.
    Yeah, I’d call that a rebirth. Not!

  3. Unless the Saints managed to rebuild billions of dollars of tattered infrastructure and the nation’s worst public education, I think that New Orleans has a little ways to go.
    The Saints winning is great for Saints fans, but it’s a football team. They don’t pay the bills, and they haven’t fixed anything.

  4. “Now, more than four years after Katrina nearly destroyed the city, New Orleans is back.
    Thanks to the Saints.”
    Yeah, who needs billions of dollars poured into the area anyway?

  5. God’s Own Silver and Blue says:
    And the best part? There were NO rapes reported in the Superdome men’s rooms during the game. NONE.
    ———
    Uh, was that supposed to be funny? Sounds more like someone raped you of your sense of humor.
    Or maybe you were conceived when Carrot-Top raped your mom. Either way, you’re not funny, stop trying so hard.

  6. You really think New Orleans is back to what it was before Katrina? Everyone who left is back?
    Everyone is investing in it the same with the same regard to what a Hurricane can do to it?
    The odds of it getting blasted by another storm of that force in the near future are slim, but geez if another one hits the place will again collapse.
    What mistakes have they rectified from pre-Hurricane?
    Are the fixes of any more substance than “all is good in the city the football team is winning?”

  7. This is the one story that will cause me to not watch any NFL-related programming in the next two weeks.
    Give me a break, the hurricane was almost FIVE years ago.
    You know, Houston had a bad hurricane just over a year ago too. When the Texans make the playoffs next year is everybody going to get all sappy?
    Of course not.

  8. Great, Florio! Now you have doomed them to moving to Los Angeles. Like your game predictions, the opposite always happens. I guess that means if the bond with the city is unbreakable that they are already puting names on lockers in the Los Angeles stadium project…

  9. Second best part? GodsOwnSilverandBlue wasn’t there selling tacos out of his trunk in the Dome parking lot.

  10. People seem to forget this team almost lost to the Rams and Redskins, and LOST to the Bucs. They were also far from dominant in the NFC championship game. A couple years back a team very similar to this almost made it the Super Bowl against the Colts, but lost to the Bears. A couple of missed playoffs later they are a tad bit better. Will they beat the Colts probably not. Even if they do, calling this team a potential dynasty? ABSURD!! This team will be fortunate to even make the playoffs next year with the NFC South last-first trend.

  11. Hey BradyGazelle
    When you go through a hurricane so bad it takes more than 5 years to fix, get back to us.
    Until then, shut your hole.

  12. “PERMANENT…UNBREAKABLE” bond huh Florio? If that’s true then why did Benson try DESPERATELY to move the Aints after Katrina. Excuse me for ‘raining’ on this parade, but Benson did everything he could to abandon that town. Going so far as to have the Aints play in San Antonio’s Alamodome, which is also coincidentally where Benson started his car dealership empire. His plans were finally squashed by politicians & the NFL commissioner alike, who cemented the Aints to New Orleans. So the bond might be tight now that they’re winning, but I wouldn’t trust their owner to keep it that way in the years to come. That bond might not be so permanent if Tommy boy has anything to say about it.

  13. cy farnsworth said it very well. This “hope” storyline is pretty much junk. The Saints’ “renewal” is great for the affluent (mostly white) people who can actually afford to go to the games, but the only issue it’s addressing is how much money can be made in the area by the rich, white businessmen.
    The Saints making the Super Bowl is a very good sports storyline, but it’s only a sports storyline. In the same way that the NFL and NASCAR really have nothing to do with the military, despite all their showy, self-conscious reverence for that hallowed institution, the Saints don’t have anything to do with the real challenges that area is still facing.
    I’m sure that like everywhere else, regular folk in that area feel a little better sometimes because of how a local sports team is doing. But it’s just sports–a big, expensive parade that doesn’t leave most of us any better off, in real terms, than we were before.

  14. BradyGazelle
    I don’t think you understand the magnatude of Katrina. It wasn’t just another huricaine. Nor was the Hati earthquake, just another earthquake. These where both epic in magnatude.

  15. “When you go through a hurricane so bad it takes more than 5 years to fix, get back to us.”
    As a person that lives on the gulf coast and has seen many hurricanes, I say get back to me when you dumbasses decide that living below sea level in a hurricane zone is a really stupid idea.

  16. “I don’t think you understand the magnatude of Katrina. It wasn’t just another huricaine.”
    Yes it pretty much was. Only difference between this one and a lot of other similar storms is that it hit a place that’s mostly below sea level and virtually surrounded by water. Rebuilding there is beyond insane.

  17. Wow PFT is full of some angry, racist assholes isn’t it. Katrina was horrific because some jackass engineers built piece of shit levy’s that couldn’t stop a wave pool, let alone a category 5 hurricane. This caused massive death and devastation in one of the most horrific events to ever occur in the U.S.
    Anybody that isn’t happy for the city of New Orleans and the Saints can go die in a fire. Seriously. Die in a fire.

  18. .VoxVeritas says:
    January 25, 2010 12:53 PM
    “When you go through a hurricane so bad it takes more than 5 years to fix, get back to us.”
    As a person that lives on the gulf coast and has seen many hurricanes, I say get back to me when you dumbasses decide that living below sea level in a hurricane zone is a really stupid idea.
    wow, I actually agree with vox, kinda.
    While I never wish loss of life on anyone, and watching New Orleans drown was horrible and while I have sympathy for anyone affected by something like that…
    What the F do you expect to happen when your city is surrounded by water on all sides and you live on the gulf coast? That paired with the fact that hurricanes carry plenty of advanced warning and a MANDATORY evacuation was issued for the city.
    It’s the same as people who live in California and ignore the San Andreas fault because they like the weather.

  19. Wow PFT is full of some angry, racist assholes isn’t it. Katrina was horrific because some jackass engineers built piece of shit levy’s that couldn’t stop a wave pool, let alone a category 5 hurricane. This caused massive death and devastation in one of the most horrific events to ever occur in the U.S.
    Anybody that isn’t happy for the city of New Orleans and the Saints can go die in a fire. Seriously. Die in a fire.

  20. Cheers to New Orleans! After all they have gone through in recent years a Super Bowl victory would be extremely uplifting for that town.
    Americans have always been known to rally for people in need, and of course the people of Haiti need out support, but New Orleans is still in need as well. And they are in the United States!!
    The Colts and the Saints have unquestionably been the best teams all year, should make for an awesome Super Bowl!

  21. If you don’t live in New Orleans, you may not get it, and that’s fine. But for the people of this city, this meant everything.
    If you don’t think the Saints’ winning pays bills, creates jobs, and builds a better New Orleans, then again, I think you probably just don’t get what this team means to the city. To us, it means New Orleans is not just a small town that you visit [or don’t] to get drunk, see boobs on Bourbon Street, refer to the food as “cajun,” spend a long weekend for Mardi Gras, and be glad to leave. Of course, we have always felt that way about it, but an association with a winning football team is something new, something great for this city.
    Cynicism and snark prevail on the internet, and that’s fine. But if you miss the underlying human interest story that comes with this win, you’re the one missing out.

  22. In spite of the IGNORANT posts offered up in this thread by some very warped people who obviously believe they are better than others, I must say this:
    SAINTS = SUPERBOWL 44
    How sweet it is.

  23. “I don’t think you understand the magnatude of Katrina. It wasn’t just another huricaine. Nor was the Hati earthquake, just another earthquake. These where both epic in magnatude.”
    Who cares about the welfare blood suckers from “chocolate city” that stayed in their houses when they were told to leave, the ones that bought gold chains and teeth over homeowners insurance, the ones that re-elected the mayor that failed them epicly, only because he is black.
    Don’t live below sea level,without insurance,on public assistance,knowing whatever you do ,or don’t do will be excused away, by a PC smokescreen.
    Stupid is as stupid deserves !
    And as far as Haiti,.. F’em, we have our own to national tragedy taking place, called “Obamunism”
    Every day we die a liitle more as a nation, a “trillion” dollars gone up in smoke and unemployment @ 15 % and rising by the day and all this sleeper cell prez is concerned with is socializing HC ? LMFAO!

  24. Good one, sugarlips.
    (And they were burritos. And they sold like hotcakes. If anybody besides IHOP actually sold hotcakes any more, that is.)

  25. Some of the comments on this blog are worth reading…others are a waste of time…still must be haters out there!
    As a survivor of Katrina, I know that the city of N.O. does have a way to go and is not fully back…what’s back is the hope that maybe the sun will shine on this city that prides itself on hospitality and good natured fun! Over 150k people are still unaccounted for, can’t get that back……but Bourbon Street is rocking and the Hurricane drinks are still flowing.. even in bad times, it didn’t take much to have a good time….but now with the trip to Miami for the SB, party is definitely ON!!!!!!!!!! Move out the way haters……the Saints are marchin’ in!

  26. Look it’s a nice story for the community, but the city of New Orleans is not back by any means. Football and real life are not the same thing. Let’s not kid ourselves here. The success of a football team will not revive an entire city that has been destroyed by Katrina

  27. Colts by 35 easy.
    The Vikes were a better team then the Saints but mistakes cost them the game. If that game was played at the Mall of America Field (aka Metrodome) it wouldn’t have been close.
    However, like I said to packer fans when they lost, “If if’s and but’s were candy and nuts we’d all have a merry christmas”.

  28. This feels soo good, a “black “President that I know mikeoxlong is happy about, and the “black” and gold are going to the Superbowl, another point I know mikeoxlong is enjoying. Plus, the Haitians are getting the help they need. Now I know that just pushed mikeoxlong’s enjoyment over the top! Loving GOD and all of his creations, tooamazon.

  29. Jealousy is a Mutha #$%$#…..all of you punks with the Katrina comments can all suck my dogs balls!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Who Dat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Wow, PFT, gotta hand it to you, never have I seen so many hateful, racist, shallow minded, ignorant, misguided, clueless and mean spirited posts as I have seen this season when it comes to the Saints and the City of New Orleans. The city was devastated by a natural disaster a few years ago, and yet, people continue to make jokes about it. The Saints are not, and never will be a “normal” NFL franchise. The team and the city had a very strong a special bond before the storm and this has only been strengthened since the storm. (As I was driving back from the game last night fans, several miles from the stadium, were out in the streets and were waving signs and cheering on the side of the road.) Sure, the players and the organization talk about the storm and the impact it has had and continues to have on the team and the city, but to use this connection as a negative way to attack the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast Region is totally despicable.
    I was at the “Katrina Bowl” in New Jersey against the Giants and many fans had awful Katrina signs and were making jokes about a natural disaster in which about 1,000 people died. I was at the NFC Championship Game in Chicago and saw with my own eyes signs denigrating New Orleans and joking about Katrina in the most cold-hearted and despicable way. I heard people telling Katrina jokes in the stands. Cold, mean, tasteless and classless fans and disgraceful human beings.
    To those who continue to joke about Katrina, I hope you like what you see in the mirror every morning, because in your soul, you are truly evil.
    Florio, please show some discretion and edit some of these posts out of your blog.

  31. I don’t care about all this Katrina stuff but i do care about this.
    NEW ORLEANS SAINTS SUPER BOWL BOUND.
    See i wrote in a post about a week ago that pretty much the only comments from Vikings fans you would see on here would be about how they were cheated and the Saints suck and will loose. To all the other Vikings fans out there, good game.

  32. Of course after the Saints lose the SB, the Saints will be moving to Los Angeles.

  33. “You know, Houston had a bad hurricane just over a year ago too. When the Texans make the playoffs next year is everybody going to get all sappy?”
    Wow, I can’t believe somebody compared Katrina to any Hurricane that hit Houston. I live in Houston, and never lost power during any of the hurricanes. The hurricane destroyed one tiny town on the coast, that’s it. Katrina destroyed an entire city causing people to move to Houston. The death toll in NO was staggering, while it probably didn’t even reach 20 in houston. Just an ignorant statement by someone who knows nothing about anything happening in the south obviously.

  34. “The Vikes were a better team then the Saints but mistakes cost them the game. If that game was played at the Mall of America Field (aka Metrodome) it wouldn’t have been close.”
    If you make more mistakes, you are not a better team. Especially when those mistakes were forced by the defense.
    If you lose more games in the regular season, with an easier schedule, causing you to lose homefield advantage, you are not a better team.
    Most importantly, if you lose the freaking game, you are not a better team.

  35. I’ve never seen so many A-Holes on one site. Really, Katrina was just some little storm that can be compared to the crap that hit Houston? I lost my home in Katrina, and the Saints mean more to us than just football. They’re a symbol of hope to this whole region. They pour tons of money into the region through tourism and sales revenue. Just because you don’t feel the same passion for your team that we do doesn’t give you the right to spout off crap that you know nothing about.

  36. [quote]WashingtonRedstorms says: January 25, 2010 3:50 PM
    Of course after the Saints lose the SB, the Saints will be moving to Los Angeles[/quote]
    The Saints just signed a 25 year deal with the state. You’re an idiot

  37. The Saints and the Colts make it to the Superbowl but you still have to mention the Steelers multiple times? Its pathetic they didnt make the playoffs get over it.

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